This story was contributed by masonfitzzy
Kelsey hummed along to the song playing in her headphones. She was not able to go on her usual morning hike because of the rain earlier. She had to wait until later in the afternoon, and now the sun was beginning to set. There was a cool breeze that caused a shiver to run up her spine. She zipped up the front of her jacket and then shoved her hands in the pockets. The hike had caused her feet to become sore and her backpack was causing her shoulders to ache.
She went down her usual trail to see that the morning rain had formed a puddle. The water was about a foot wide and covered the dirt path. Kelsey was halfway down the trail, and she did not want to spend the rest of the evening with soaking wet shoes.
The autumn leaves were covering the ground around the path. The trees were thick, and one trunk had tipped over. Kelsey stepped off the path and her shoes squeaked in the mud. She climbed over the fallen trunk. The leaves crunched under her feet as she landed on the ground. She took a step forward before falling forward.
Her screams ripped through the silent air as metal pierced her ankle. Pain shot up Kelsey's arm as she landed on her elbow. Warm tears were rolling down her cheeks. Her earbuds were ripped out from her ears. A fiery pain overtook her body and her vision grew blurry. She tried to move her toes, but the pain immobilized her foot.
Kelsey sobbed as she pushed herself up onto one knee. She wiped the tears off her face, smearing dirt across her cheeks, and looked down at her pain. A bear trap was locked around her leg. The metal was tearing into her skin. Her jeans were ripped, and blood was pouring down her ankle.
She reached back and grabbed the trap. The metal was cold under her fingertips. She gritted her teeth. She shook the trap and the pain grew more intense as the metal teeth moved inside of her wounds. Her elbow gave out underneath her and she fell onto her stomach.
She reached into her pocket and pulled out her cellphone. Her hands were shaking as she typed in 911. She held the phone to her ear to hear a long high-pitched beep. She pulled the phone away from her face to see that she had no signal.
"Help!" Kelsey cried out. "Please! Someone help me!"
The sun was setting behind the trees, and she had seen no one during her walk. The rain had driven away the usual hikers.
Kelsey dialed her phone again, and she prayed for it to start ringing. She heard the same beeping noise. She dropped her phone on top of the leaves and buried her face in her hands.
The time ticked by at a horribly slow pace. The pain did not ease, and any time she moved her leg she could feel the warm blood gush out of her wounds. She used her phone and attempted to call for help until the battery died. She was soon alone in the dark.
Kelsey stayed on her stomach sobbing until she heard the noise. A screech echoed through the empty woods. She lifted her head. She dug her teeth into her lip to stop herself from crying as she pushed herself back up onto her knee. She looked around, but could only see the leaves from the trees blowing in the cold night air.
"Hello?" Kelsey called out.
A howl pierced Kelsey's ears. She covered her ears and squeezed her eyes shut. There was a crashing of a tree in the distance followed by another growl. A second tree crashed and it was much closer.
Kelsey could not see in the darkness that enveloped her. She slid her bag off of her back. She ran her fingers along the side of the bag until she could feel the familiar metal of her flashlight. She flicked on the light and shone it around the trees.
She jumped when there was another screech. She dropped the flashlight and it rolled away from her. The tears returned to her eyes as she dragged herself across the ground toward the light. She picked it up and raised it above the fallen tree trunk.
A beast was standing on the path amongst the trees. It was a large wolf covered in dark brown fur. It had sharp jagged fangs. Drool was dripping out from between his teeth. It was on its hindlegs and dropped onto all four of its paws. Its claws were digging into the dirt. The monster let out a growl.
Kelsey turned the light off and clutched it to her chest. The wolf took a step down the path. Kelsey shimmied her way across the dirt and toward the tree trunk. She cowered behind the trunk.
The leaves crunched under each step the beast took. Kelsey's heart was pounding and nausea crept into her stomach. She could hear the monster growl as it got closer to the fallen tree. Her grip was tight on the flashlight. She knew that she had a pocket knife in the backpack, but it was out of her reach. She thought about grabbing her bag, but there was another screech that paralyzed her in fear.
The growling grew louder with each crunching footstep. Kelsey squeezed her eyes shut and silently prayed for the monster to turn around.
A loud bang rang through her ears and cut off the growls. There was a shout, but this time it was a human.
"Hell yeah!" the voice yelled out. "I finally got you, you son of a bitch."
Kelsey peered over the edge of the trunk. She flicked on the flashlight and a beam of light up the path. There was a man with a rifle in his hands. He was standing over the body of a naked man. Part of the naked man's head was blown off, and his brains were splattered across the dirt. The man with the rifle looked up over at Kelsey.
"Oh shit," the man said, his voice was thick with a southern accent. "Are you okay?"
"Please, help me," Kelsey said. "I'm really hurt."
"You wouldn't happen to be in a bear trap, would you?" he asked.
"I am," she said. "Did you put this here?"
"Yeah, I was trying to kill this beast," he said. "I didn't think anyone would be out here at night."
"Are you crazy?"
"Are you forgetting that I just saved your life?"
The man jumped over the trunk. Kelsey watched as he fiddled with the trap. She screamed as the metal pulled out of her wounds. She pulled her leg toward her body.
"Let me bring you to a hospital," he said. "On one condition."
"What is it?" she asked.
"You have to tell everyone about what you saw. You're right, people do think I am crazy, but you have seen the truth."
Kelsey nodded her head. A smile spread across the man's lips.
"Good," he said. "Now let's get going."
I'm a nurse by day and a writer by night. I write both suspenseful and gory horror, and I usually find a way to mix the two together. I'm a lover of tea, cats, and anything spooky. Check out more of Mason's stories here .
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